Not this again!
Christ, I am so sick and tired of everyone mistaking me for my twin sister, Saralynn. I’m not her. Don’t want to be her. Ever. I mean who would want all the media attention, every hot guy in the universe drooling at your manicured toes, all the women in the world dressing like you and singing your songs. Certainly not me.
We might look alike, but my sister clearly has a spark that I lack, a spark that has brought her fame and fortune in the music business, reaching double platinum with her last album. Me, well, I couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket. The last time I tried to sing, one of my neighbors knocked on my door. Apparently they thought I was inside torturing a cat. What the hell, right? I love cats. Which is a good thing, because the way my love life is going, I’ll soon be collecting them.
I stopped trying to hone my voice after that, leaving the stage to my very talented sister, who I love truly and dearly. I’m better off sticking to my day job, teaching work/life balance to stressed-out, overworked employees. It’s a job I love, and while I resigned myself to the fact that I can’t sing, it doesn’t stop me from belting out lyrics in the shower every now and then. Where no one can hear, of course.
“Saralynn, wait up,” the man across the street screams out, frantically waving what looks like a restaurant napkin in the air.
I should just stop and give him an autograph, pretend to be my sister, who is currently back home here in Baltimore, taking a show business break at our folks’ house—hence the frenzy of fans on the streets looking for her. Then again, we hadn’t played the switcheroo game since we were kids, and if I stop for one man, soon enough I’ll be swarmed, drawing unwanted attention from hundreds of guys. Unlike Saralynn, I’m on the shy side and prefer to keep a low profile, and all that male attention would be horrible, right?
Then again, she did have a stalker a couple years ago, and that was pretty damn scary for all of us. A shiver skips down my spine, and the hairs on the back of my neck tingle in warning. Since I’m not one to ignore my intuition, I pick up the pace and round the corner.
“Look, it’s Saralynn,” another guy yells, and when I hear numerous footsteps pounding the pavement behind me, I panic. What if it’s another stalker? My jog turns into a full-on run—a difficult task in a pencil skirt and heels. I scan the street, eager to find a place to hide out before I get bombarded—or kidnapped. Yes, I do have a wild imagination.
I glance up in time to see Pat’s Irish Pub. I used to go to high school with Sean Collins, whose family owns the place. What would Saralynn do in a situation like this? I try to think like her, and instantly an idea takes form. I pull open the door, steal a quick glance around until I find the biggest guy, then rush up to him.
“There you are,” I say, as the door flings opens behind me, my sister’s feverish fans racing after me.
As the guy sets his motorcycle helmet on the table, and peels a leather jacket from his hard body, I go up on my toes, slide my hands over his broad shoulders, and kiss him right on the lips.
He goes still, his lips frozen in place, as I steal a sideways glance and take in the men at the door. I look back at my pretend boyfriend; catch the flicker of familiarity in his blue eye. He blinks, angles his head to see the men who’ve followed me in, then turns back to me. Understanding dances in his eyes, and I’m grateful that underneath a hard, inked body, the guy has a brain.
He slides his big hands around my waist and drags me to him. Wow, that probably shouldn’t feel so nice.
“I’ve waited my whole life for this,” he whispers, the deep rumble in his voice doing ridiculous things to the dormant spot between my legs. He grins and plays along, obviously having put two and two together—I’m famous singer Saralynn Walker, trying to deter a group of men from swarming me. His lips find mine again, and he picks me clear off the floor as he kisses me, letting the men in the room know I’m off limits and they better back off, or else…
The door slams shut, and I feel a measure of comfort. With the mob gone, I should break the kiss, put an end to the charade. Yeah, I should probably stop touching him, kissing him back, imagining what his lethal body would feel like naked, lying over mine.
So why aren’t I?
Oh, probably because I haven’t been kissed like this in…ever. His tongue slides into my mouth, tangles with mine, and a groan I have no control over crawls out of my throat. Is he even aware the guys are gone? That we no longer have to put on a show?
God, I hope not.
He angles his head, the kiss deepening, expanding, and my traitorous nipples harden, press against his chest through my blouse, alerting him to my arousal. When someone nearby clears their throat, and mumbles something about getting a room, he breaks the kiss, but continues to hold me against his rock-hard, solid body.
“They’re…gone,” I say breathlessly and gesture with a nod toward the door. “Thanks for…help…ing…me.” What is going on with my voice? Singing might be out of the question, but now I can’t even talk? Good lord. His hands slacken around my rib cage and I slide down his body, enjoying every glorious inch as he sets me back on my feet.
“Anything for you,” he says.
More like anything for Saralynn.
He angles his head, that spark of familiarity back in his eyes. He opens his mouth to say something, and I blurt out, “I’m Saralynn Walker.”
OMFG. What the hell am I doing?
He frowns, and looks down for a moment, like he’s trying to piece something together. When his gaze lifts back to mine, and black pupils expand, bleed into his gorgeous blue irises, my stomach flutters.
What the ever-loving fuck is going on with me? Inked biker dude is hot, drop-dead gorgeous for sure, but no man—a stranger at that—had ever turned my knees to Jell-O before. I pulse deep between my legs, and I’m sure if I squeeze them together I’ll orgasm right on the spot.
“I know who you are,” he says, and for a second it seems like he can see through me, right to my lie. But that’s impossible. We don’t know each other. “I’m Nate.”
“Nate…” I say, trying it out on my tongue, wondering how it would sound when I’m pinned beneath him, scoring his skin with my nails as he fills me, bringing me to sweet release. The only time I’d ever been able to climax was with Mr. Right—the man-made boyfriend I keep tucked away in my nightstand drawer. Damned if I don’t want to give this guy a chance to try though. I just bet he’s very familiar with a woman’s body and how to send her freefalling without a net.
I give a shake of my head as my thoughts run away from me. Jeez, it’s clear I’ve gone too long without a man’s touch, if I’m standing here drooling over a complete stranger.
Get it together, Rae.
A sexy grin reveals a dimple on his left cheek. Despite just silently lecturing myself, I take him in, let my gaze roam over his face. Do I know him? Nah, I’d never forget a guy like Nate.
“I’d shake your hand, but I think we’re well past that, don’t you?” he teases.
“Yeah,” I reply. “Thanks for that.”
“Hard, huh?” he says.
I falter backwards slightly, and my gaze dashes to his crotch. Holy shit, what am I doing? He’s not talking about himself being hard, although he does have a very nice bulge happening in his current un-aroused state. What the hell is he working with down there?
I dare you to find out.
Wait! What? No. No. No. I silently chant to hush that inner voice.
Why the hell am I thinking about this guy’s cock?
Oh, maybe because Mr. Right just isn’t cutting it anymore, and this guy —Mr. Wrong in so many ways—has dirty sex written all over him. Dirty sex like my sister probably has all the time. Yeah, that must be it. And that must be why I’m pretending to be Saralynn. Because I want some headboard-banging love, too, dammit.
“Are you okay?”
“What…oh, hard. Yeah, hard.” What is he even talking about?
He rocks on his feet, his body swaying toward mine. “Here you are, back in your hometown to rest and relax, and you can’t even walk down the street without getting accosted.”
I should go. Pretending to be my sister can only lead to trouble.
“Thanks, Nate. I’ve taken up enough of your time.”
“Wait.” His hand touches my arm, and when the sexy grin materializes again, a fine shiver race down my spine. “You kissed me, and well, believe it or not, I never kiss on the first date,” he says.
I believe him…not.
“There are rules you know?” he says, mischief dancing in his gorgeous eyes.
“You don’t strike me as the kind of guy who plays by the rules.” As soon as those words leave my mouth, his grin is back, doing ridiculously delicious things to the needy juncture between my legs. God, why am I exchanging playful banter with a guy like this? He’s probably in a biker gang, and if I knew what was good for me, I’d run a thousand miles the other way.
So why aren’t I?
“You should at least buy me a beer or something,” he says.
I put one hand on my hip. “You kissed me, too.” Without thinking about it, I touch my lips, revel in the hot burn his mouth left behind. When I realize what I’m doing, I hold a finger up and circle it. “And this isn’t a date.”
He gives a causal shrug. “Then let me buy you a beer, make this official.”
“Make what official?”
“This date. Since we already got the first kiss out of the way, have dinner with me.”
“I…” I look around the busy bar, my mind going to Sean Collins when I see a few of his siblings. Last I heard, he was living with Lauren and Chad. He’d found love, and undoubtedly amazing sex, with two people, and dammit, I can’t even find it with one.
While I’ve given up on finding love—and certainly don’t expect to find it with inked biker dude—maybe I should stay and have dinner with him. Maybe a meal will lead to hot, straight-up dirty sex in a hotel room with Mr. Wrong himself. One wild night with a guy I’ll never set eyes on again.
Yeah, maybe pretending to be my sister wasn’t such a bad idea after all…
“Okay,” I say, and slide into the booth, hardly able to believe what I’m doing. This is so not like me, but right now I’m not me. I’m Saralynn.
He drops down across from me, his gaze latched on mine. “Since we already kissed, are we considering this our first date or second?” he asks, his voice teasing.
“What?” Lord, why can’t I keep a clear thought around him? “What does that matter?”
“It matters because of the rules.”
I arch a brow and wonder what kind of game he’s playing. “Maybe you should tell me what your second-date rules are before I answer.”
He leans toward me and I catch a whiff of his scent. Warm leather, hot man, and something uniquely Nate. He is seriously the hottest guy I’ve ever set eyes on, and I can’t help but want to check out the big-ass equipment he’s working with between his legs. His eyes races over my face, then he wets his lips as his gaze dips.
“Actually, I’d rather show you.”